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    Journal of Management Education Special Issue: "Experiential Learning in Large Classes"

    Cullen, John G. and Clancy, Annette and Hood, Alison and McGuinness, Claire (2019) Journal of Management Education Special Issue: "Experiential Learning in Large Classes". Journal of Management Education, 43 (4). pp. 471-476. ISSN 1052-5629

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    The teaching of large classes has received increased attention in the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning literature, but the study, and delivery, of experiential learning in the context of large classes has received considerably less scrutiny. Most peer-reviewed articles tend to discuss the large class context in relation to the difficulties and problems that emerge from the massification of higher education (Usher & Cervenan, 2005) during a time of significant resource restrictions for universities (Ferlie, McGivern, & De Moraes, 2010; Cullen, 2011). Lund Dean and Wright (2017) demonstrate how calls for increasingly engaged teaching approaches have coincided with larger class sizes. Although student engagement with large class teaching is discussed, the challenges and opportunities of experiential learning in such contexts is rarely theorized or researched. The experience of either being a member of a large class (Boland, 2011), or teaching or assessing a large class, is often presented as something that is of a lower quality than the smaller class experience. Key thinkers on critically reflexive teaching practice often discuss engaged pedagogy as something that can best happen in small group contexts. Some research has demonstrated that being enrolled in a large class can have an impact on educational attainment as a result of being precluded from receiving formative feedback (Broadbent, Panadero, & Boud, 2018; Nicol, 2007), asking for help and engaging in discussions between faculty research experts (Asikainen, Virtanen, Postareff, & Heino, 2014; Karabenick, 2003; Li & Pinto-Powell, 2017; Woollacott, Booth, & Cameron, 2014). Research has also demonstrated that being enrolled in a large class can have an impact on students in ways that impact their experience of university- level learning. Students sometimes report feeling anonymous and depersonalized as a result of the lack of opportunities to connect with instructors (Isbell & Cote, 2009). Negative experiences in large classes are not, however, limited to students, as faculty exposure to large groups of students has been identified as a key cause of burnout (Watts & Robertson, 2011), and high assessment and administrative responsibilities have been associated with poor mental health and even suicide among academic staff (Bhardwa, 2018; Pells, 2018). The aim of this special issue is to contribute to new understandings of how experiential learning can be used to engage students and faculty, who increasingly find themselves teaching in larger class contexts. Rather than exclusively discussing technological solutions or innovations that aim to address the difficulties that have arisen from teaching very large classes, this special issue aims to develop new ways of understanding engagement in higher education learning environments. Although much recent attention has been paid to the shadow-side of experiential learning, the experiences of faculty who teach (and assess) larger groups with fewer resources are rarely considered in the research literature. This has resulted in an absence of theory that could contribute to new understandings of how to enhance experiential learning for large classes. This special issue will consider theories, research, and pedagogical and andragogical approaches to the delivery of experiential learning in large-enrolment classrooms. A number of approaches have been used to mitigate the negative consequences of being a member of a large class. This includes discussions of the pedagogical benefits and assessment of IT (de Arriba, 2017; Maringe & Sing, 2014; Mtshali, Maistry, & Govender, 2015; Saunders & Hutt, 2015; Schaffer, Young, Ligon, & Chapman, 2017), MOOCs (Maringe & Sing, 2014), lecture capture (Freeman, 1998; Owston, Lupshenyuk, & Wideman, 2011), supplementary media (Saunders & Hutt, 2015), student-response systems (Hancock, 2010; Heaslip, Donovan, & Cullen, 2014; Mayer et al., 2009; Patterson, Kilpatrick, & Woebkenberg, 2010), peer-teaching and peer-assessment (Asikainen et al., 2014), and flipped classrooms (Eichler & Peeples, 2016). However, much of the evaluation of such programs is conducted from the perspective of the provider and few include detailed qualitative accounts that explore the nuances of how the mode of assessment has affected the learner and the experience of learning (Cullen & Turnbull, 2005).

    Item Type: Article
    Keywords: Learning; large classes; experimental learning;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Business
    Item ID: 11247
    Identification Number:
    Depositing User: Dr. John G. Cullen
    Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2019 13:40
    Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Management Education
    Publisher: Sage Publications
    Refereed: Yes
    Use Licence: This item is available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike Licence (CC BY-NC-SA). Details of this licence are available here

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